CES 2020: The Lenovo Yoga 5G with Qualcomm’s 8cx and Support for mmWave/Sub-6

We’ve been tracking the development of ‘always connected PCs’ since Qualcomm entered the laptop market with promises of enhanced connectivity and all-day battery life. Depending on the market, it’s the latter that resonated most with users: a full 24 hours of real battery is a killer feature. Nonetheless, the desire to enhance the experience with more connectivity options is the primary purpose of this segment, and with the latest 8cx hardware almost ready to go, as one of Qualcomm’s primary partners, Lenovo is almost ready with its newest 5G Yoga device.

So I’ve actually had one of Lenovo’s older Yoga 630 WoS units, equipped with the Snapdragon 855, and the main purpose I use it for is two-fold: as the ultimate backup at events or as the sole device when I’m working and I can’t guarantee a power outlet (say, a 11+ hour flight in economy). The thing it needs is speed, especially as we’re talking about Windows on an Arm-based device. Qualcomm is promising speed with the new 8cx chip, and when paired with a Snapdragon X55 modem, the idea is that for 5G enabled offices and markets, connectivity won’t be an issue.

The new Lenovo Yoga 5G builds on the design of the Yoga 630 WoS, by offering a similar 14-inch 1920×1080 IPS display at 400 nits, a 60 Wh battery, dual USB-C ports, and a fingerprint reader. Aside from the bump from the S855 to the 8cx, the minimum specification also gets a memory/specification lift up to 8 GB of LPDDR4 and 256 GB of UFS 3.0, with a second model offering double the storage.

Inside with the Snapdragon 8cx is the X55 modem, which is stated to have antenna to support both full-band mmWave and Sub 6 GHz networks. Given Lenovo’s business for these devices is likely to be both China and North America, I would assume that this unit should support both (or variants for different markets would be provided). The battery inside, 60 Wh, is almost double the size of the Microsoft Surface that also uses a Qualcomm chip, which would solve the battery life concerns which that device has come under fire for.

The unit comes in an iron-grey color, like the Yoga C630, and also has a Touch Pen accessory available. Lenovo says the unit will start at $1499, which is a premium over the C630. The release date is listed as ‘Spring 2020’.